When and where we meet:

Every 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Leigh on Mendip

Visitors welcome!

For more details contact Mary Mears

or leave a comment here on our blog


Leigh on Mendip Community Coffee Mornings.

1st Monday of the month in the Memorial Hall from 9.45 to 10.45am.

Come along for a coffee and a chat! Everyone welcome.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Wednesday 30th May - National A.G.M.

This year's AGM was held at the Royal Albert Hall, and I travelled there on the day by train. The weather was fabulous and I had plenty of time to wander from the underground station, via the spectacular Albert memorial to the venue. As you can see from the photo (sorry about the quality!) we had an excellent view of proceedings, and were able to see the speakers easily. Joining with 5,000 voices to sing Jerusalem was absolutely tremendous! How we filled that hall with our lovely singing, accompanied by the marvellous Royal Albert Hall organ!
Ruth Bond is an excellent speaker, so passionate about her role as WI National President; it was very inspiring listening to her throughout the day. She described a typical day, including one incident when she was in M & S buying underwear when the Minister for Education rang her mobile!

Thanks to the resolutions WI members have supported in the past, Ruth and the Trustees spend a great deal of time meeting with industry leaders, government ministers, charity workers... the list goes on. They had some success to report on the the Care not Custody campaign, which has made a big impact on recent legislation and secured financial support, and on the Save our Libraries campaign.
They are launching an updated website on which each Federation and each individual institute will be able to have their own pages; we'll be able to share much more of what is going on at grass roots level! Now that's what I call progress! Exciting!
Denman College has not had a good year financially; they need more students! The Do it for Denman initiative last year raised £54,000 - can we do it again this year, please?
The speakers were fascinating and very entertaining: Julian Fellowes (who won an Oscar for writing Gosford Park. He also wrote Downton Abbey) and the scientist Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock, such an enthusiastic ambassador for girls becoming scientists.

The debate about midwives: The NFWI calls on the government to increase investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care.
We heard an impassioned speech from the proposer, a midwife member of Horwich WI and  from the President of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) who explained the difficulties facing them.
A minister from the department of Health put the case against the motion, making reference to a lot of very interesting statistics. He completely omitted to mention the funding issues!
When the debate was thrown open to the floor, there were comments from people who had nothing but high praise for the care they had received in their personal experience, several comments from women who had been trained as midwives and had moved on to other areas of health care, all asking where the extra funding is to be found? Will it be diverted from cancer patients? those with alzheimers/ and so on. The president of the RCM was asked directly when did she expect the finding to come from? I didn't feel she answered the question. Other comments were in support of the proposer, describing the almost impossible situation in which midwives are expected to work.
The vote was (roughly!) 5,000 for the motion and 200 against!

After lunch, those of us willing to have a go, (some just sat and watched... how dull!) took part in the Guinness Book of Records challenge to have people knitting together in one place for 15 minutes! You probably read about it in an earlier issue of WI Life, showing us the pattern for making knitted chains. It is in connection with the Craft Club who hava a project at Greenwich where children are building a boat from recycled materials. Our efforts have provided the anchor chains! There may be a photo in County News, as my neighbour (also from Somerset) took several photos! Apparently it takes about 3 months before we know if we broke the record!

And finally we had a treat! Four members of the BBC TV programme Strictly Come Dancing came to dance for us: Kristina & Robin and Kara & Artem. They were great!
having lunch!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Monday's craft day... More people!

We spent a very productive day on Monday after the community coffee morning, working away on our crafts. It's growing now; two of us concentrating on sorting out those old photographs, there is a lovely rag rug appearing before our very eyes, some bunting and a simply gorgeous little mouse being knitted! I've laid down a challenge to see a hand sewn patchwork bedspread at a future event, and I know there are at least two more people keen to come along if they are free! Next date set for a month's time, after the community coffee morning, starting at 11 o'clock and finishing at 4. Bring your own craft and lunch, tea and coffee provided! Monday 18 June. We share the cost of hiring the hall between us. Call in for a cup of tea if you would like to see what goes on!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Resolutions meeting, May.

Last night's meeting was very thought provoking and a lot of fun!

Are you interested in attending any of the following events? We need to know immediately!
Monday evening 2 July visit to Milton Lodge gardens, partners or friends welcome. £9.
Thursday evening 5 July 'Antiques Supper' two course supper and talk at Standerwick, £19.50.
Day trip to Denman College in the Autumn.

The discussion we had about the proposed 'More Midwives' campaign was very thought provoking and, frankly, extremely difficult to decide. Several people abstained but in the end the majority vote was against the motion. This was based on the evidence we see everyday on the lack of funding in every aspect of the health service. If we put the might of the NFWI into pressing for more midwives, which other health areas will suffer? The elderly? Those with diabetes? People who have suffered a stroke? The list is endless, and we all agreed that we would not like to have to make those decisions. It will be interesting to hear the results of the discussion at the AGM at the Albert Hall, where health professionals and campaigners will be putting their cases.

A spot of light relief was found after refreshments when we listened to the stories about the beautiful items members had brought to show. We had 2 gorgeous family photos, a patchwork quilt, some gold work embroidery, a coil pot, a handmade box, a knitted patterned sweater (I almost feel the need to say 'a cuddly toy' here!) a photograph album and a 'proddy' rag rug cushion. I'm sorry that I forgot to take any photos, the display was stunning. The conversations about them all were very interesting too, showing another side of each speaker. Thank you everyone for showing us - I really enjoyed it!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Pub meal very enjoyable!

Seven of us met at The Duke of Cumberland in Holcombe for a very tasty and sociable lunch. We thought that perhaps next time we would walk over there.... And maybe get a lift back afterwards if someone else has driven over! Weather permitting, of course! How about 8th June? Then, if the walk and lunch works well, we could walk around Mells in July and lunch in one of the cafes there. This will also add to our Big Walk Little Splash miles.